Student jailed for 12 years for raping grandmother near Piccadilly Circus

|News, Sexual offences

A student who abducted and raped a grandmother in central London has been jailed.

Shakur Valentino, 22, was jailed for 12 years with five years on extended licence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday [Thursday, 20 June]. He will also be on the sex offenders register for life. Valentino had pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, kidnapping and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier court hearing.

Having just finished work, the victim in her 60s, was walking through Piccadilly Circus and along Haymarket just after 3.30am on 4 February this year. She was followed by Valentino who dragged her into the deserted St Alban’s Street. CCTV from businesses Café Concerto, Tiger Tiger and Duck and Waffle, which were along the way, helpfully picked up Valentino pursuing the victim.

The assault was only stopped when a homeless man sleeping nearby heard the commotion and ran to alert police. Valentino then ran off and was arrested by police near the National Gallery.

Daniel Geller, from the CPS, said: "This was a violent sexual attack by a stranger who chose to prey on a lone woman.

"Valentino claimed he had been out with friends watching the Superbowl before he approached the victim for consensual sex. However, CCTV clearly indicated that he had followed his victim through the streets of central London before grabbing her and pulling her into a quiet side street where he raped her twice in a sustained assault.

"The prosecution case included compelling witness testimony and CCTV footage that in fact showed Valentino tailing the victim and snatching her before raping her.

"I hope today's result provides her with some comfort and reassures the public that the CPS and police will work together to prosecute sexual predators."

The CPS also applied for a commendation and cash reward for the witness who tried to get the victim help. The judge praised the witness and ordered for him to be given £500 and the commendation.

Notes to editors

  • Shakur Valentino [DOB: 18.02.1997] is from St Helens in Merseyside
  • Daniel Geller is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the rape and serious sexual offences unit in CPS London South.

Further reading